Just about a month ago, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued an emergency order that required many of the state’s public spaces to close through December 8. This included Michigan casinos.
On December 7, the MDHHS issued another order, forcing most casinos to stay closed at least through December 20. However, Michigan’s tribal casinos are built on sovereign tribal land, so they aren’t necessarily required to adhere to the order.
Following the first order in November, a number of tribal casinos opted to stay open with limited capacity. On the heels of the December 7 extension, here’s where Michigan casino properties stand.
Michigan Casino Status Round-Up
The only Michigan casinos required by law to close are the three properties in Detroit: MotorCity, MGM Grand, and Greektown. Outside of those casinos, the tribal properties are allowed to decide for themselves whether to remain open.
Tribal Properties Remaining Open
Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant lists this message on its website: “Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort and Slot Palace will remain open with continued health and sanitation measures in place.’ Find more info on the property’s safety measures here.
Saganing Eagles Landing is in the same boat: “Saganing Eagles Landing Casino & Hotel will remain open with continued health and sanitation measures in place”
Kewadin Casinos previously closed for three weeks following the initial order in November. All five Kewadin properties reopened in some capacity on December 8. Special hours and health measures are in place at the properties.
Island Resort & Casino appears to be open with added safety precautions.
Turtle Creek Casino and Hotel in Northern Michigan is open with reduced hours, a mask policy, and certain Covid-related restrictions. Same goes for Leelanau Sands Casino and Lodge. Both properties are owned and operated by theGrand Traverse band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.
Tribal Properties Remaining Closed
Bay Mills Resort & Casino has extended its closure through December 28, 2020.
This marks a pretty big shift from the previous order in November. More than six casinos closed following that order, but now Bay Mills is one of the only properties closing its doors. Many of Michigan’s casinos are choosing to remain open with strict policies in place to protect players.
Michigan Online Gambling Approaches
As casinos are forced to deal with the fallout of Covid-19 and the wait for a widely distributed vaccine, Michigan inches ever-closer to full-fledged online casinos and sportsbooks. Michigan legislators are very close to finalizing the rules surrounding online gambling in the Great Lakes State.
The advent of online gambling in Michigan is expected to bring some much-needed relief to the state. Detroit’s three casinos recently saw huge year-over-year revenue drops as land-based gaming screeched to a halt for the second time this year. With a January or February online launch looming, Michigan gaming operators have a glimmer of hope.